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How to make your swimming pool more efficient

You don’t have to undergo a major refit or renovations to improve the efficiency of your swimming pool. Here are seven simple tips that will increase efficiency and reduce your pool’s energy bills.

There’s no question that a swimming pool uses a lot of energy and can be a bit of an eco no-no in places where water is scarce or during times of drought. But you will reduce the environmental impact by carefully preparing and maintaining a swimming pool as best you can.

1. Fit a summer cover

The cleaner your pool is, the less the energy consuming pump has to work. Not only will a cover stop leaves and other debris blowing in, it’ll also help prevent evaporation of water and heat loss. A heavy-duty “safety blanket” cover has the extra advantage of acting, as the name implies, as a safety device too; a well-made one should withstand the weight of a child should they fall in the pool.

2. Install an energy-efficient pump with a timer

It’s the pump that’s going to consume the most energy, so make sure you have a modern one that has the highest possible energy rating. Next experiment with how much you need to run the pump. Some brands are pre-programmed to pump all the water in the pool more than once a day, in most private pools that’s probably not necessary. If your pool only gets light usage, the pump may only need to run for a few hours.

3. Clean the filter out regularly

The dirtier the filter, the harder the pump has to work to draw dirt particles and bigger debris into the filter. It’s just like a vacuum cleaner when you first put a new clean bag in, it sucks up dirt far more readily.

4. Reduce airflow around your pool

The more the wind blows across the surface of your pool, the faster the water will evaporate and the more you’ll want to top up the pool, pushing up your water bills as well as tapping into a precious resource. In some places, during the height of the summer, it is forbidden to top up pools, so be sure you keep the level as high as possible by protecting your pool from the wind with some kind of wind screen such as potted plants, a planted trellis or even the type of wind breakers that used at the beach.

How to make your swimming pool more efficient

5. Switch to salt water

Saltwater is a cheaper way to kill off waterborne bugs and algae than liquid chlorine; it’s also much kinder on the skin and eyes, which might mean you and your visitors stay in longer so your pump will have to work harder… Swings and balances!

6. Check all the piping and the pool liner regularly

Make sure you don’t have any leaks from pipes or from small holes in the lining of the pool. If you suspect you have, make sure every water using device on your property and in the house is turned off and then look at the water meter. If it’s still running, you may have a leak.

All the previous tips are ones that you can carry out yourself, the next is one for the professionals but it’s considered a fairly straightforward job:

7. Check your plumbing

Does your pool’s piping have lots of bends? If it does, it may be possible to replace some of the bends with straight piping. Why? The fewer bends, the easier it is for the pump to move water through the pipes and so the more energy efficient the process is.

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